Thursday, August 31, 2006

Honor Killings in Turkey

What can you say about a religion that would find nothing wrong with encouraging a woman's son to kill her? This goes against nature:

Young children - in some cases a woman's own son - have been used to carry out so-called "honour killings" in Turkey.

The duty of repairing the family's reputation is often delegated to a youth, believing they will get the minimum jail sentence, the World Service's Assignment programme has learned.
A recent case was the murder of Birgul Isik, gunned down by her 14-year-old son Ramazan for apparently bringing shame on her family. She had appeared on a Turkish talk show to discuss her abusive marriage.

She had fled her violent, bigamous husband several times before. Ignored by the authorities and dismissed by her family, she agreed to appear on the Women's Voice show.

But in Turkey, domestic violence is an issue few women would dare to discuss outside the family, let alone on national television. Back in her home town, for many Birgul had crossed the line.

She had just returned to Elazig in eastern Turkey by bus, accompanied by four of her five children after taking part in the programme in Istanbul.

Ramazan was waiting for her at the bus stop. When he saw her, he shouted that she had shamed the family, pulled out a gun and shot her five times.

Birgul died in hospital three weeks later.

Ramazan was placed in a juvenile detention centre and Birgul's four other children in orphanages. Birgul's husband was put on trial for incitement, but was later acquitted.

Birgul's killing by her own son follows a disturbing pattern. In some communities when a family believes that a woman has compromised their reputation, they decide on a punishment.

If the decision is that she should die, they often delegate the actual murder to an underage son or cousin, believing he will get a light sentence if caught.
Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, a UN Population Fund representative in Ankara, has carried out an in-depth study into honour killings in Turkey.
Her team's research has attempted to establish how the practice fits in with Islam, the country's main religion.
They found that while imams were not known to be advocating honour killings, their strict moral code meant that the general public might feel that Islam was actually condoning such practices.

Meanwhile, families who choose not to carry out an honour punishment find themselves, as well as any relatives, ostracised by their communities and have to move away.
Honor means more than a mother's love, family ties and the life of women.

Read the rest here.

(Link via Religious News Online)

You know you're not Reformed if...

I've been meaning to share this with you even though it's a few days old; because laughter is good medicine, right?

I saw this the other day at the Riddleblog:

You know you are not Reformed if

. . . you think the Apostles Creed is the guy who fought Rocky in Rocky I.

. . . you think the Canons of Dort are like the Guns of Navarrone.

. . . you think Ursinus is a nasal condition.

. . . you think Arminians are the people who run convenience stores.

. . . you think the Belgic Confession was from WWII war crimes trials.

. . . you think “popery” in the church makes it smell flowery.

. . . you think the psalter goes with the pepper shaker.

. . . you think unconditional election is a practice of communist dictatorships.

. . . the only “kirk” you know is from Star Trek.

. . . you think the Three Forms of Unity are health, wealth, and happiness.

. . . you think “catechism” and “dogma” relate to pets.

. . . you think Post Tenebras Lux is a breakfast cereal (it’s actually the motto of post-Reformation Geneva).
Check out the post comments, it keeps going...

On a related issue, my husband and I have recently started going to a Presbyterian church and the congregation recites the Apostle's Creed as part of the order of worship. During one of the first sermons we heard there the Pastor challenged the congregation not to just say the words but to know what those words mean. To be able to articulate what you believe is something that every Christian should be concerned with. Because if you don't really understand what you are saying how can you articulate it others? Like to your children or your neighbor or your unsaved family members?

Well, I found this great resource that we will be using to help our family understand this historic creed. It's Luther's Little Instruction Book; "The simple way a father should present it to his household". If you already know it, pass it on to someone you know who could benefit from it.


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I can't believe this article, it's just nuts

Carrie sent me this article and I'm still in shock over it. I can't believe that people would do something like this and so it really makes me wonder about what's going on:

A pastor who says his congregation voted not to accept black membership has resigned. The church says it never made such a decision.

The Rev. John Stevens says Fellowship Baptist Church in Saltillo voted not to approve blacks as members during a scheduled Sunday night business meeting Aug. 6. Because of the decision, Stevens stepped down from the Baptist Missionary Alliance congregation that has an average Sunday morning attendance of 30 people.
But then, why would the pastor lie? Very weird.

BTW, Carrie has an interesting post about the tongue. It's a good reminder to us the power that our words have on others and a good lesson on how to control the tongue. We can't control our tongue if we don't control the things that we are allowing ourselves to feel in our heart (judgmental attitude, hatred, bitterness, etc.). What is in our heart will eventually find voice no matter how hard we try to stop ourselves from saying it. Maybe that's something this congregation should think about.

Cheney Makes the Case for Voting for Republicans in the Fall

If you believe that we are at war with Islamic fascists, then I think it's very clear who you should vote for in the fall. Here's the vice president on behalf of Rep. Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska:

The Bush administration will "keep national security at the top of the agenda this election year,"” Vice President Dick Cheney told a Republican audience Tuesday.

Some Democratic leaders want to weaken the tools the administration uses to identify and track terrorists, Cheney said, while others would "give up the fight (and) retreat" from Iraq.

President Bush will rely on commanders in the field to determine the troop levels "needed for victory in Iraq," Cheney said, rather than listen to polls or "artificial timelines set by politicians in Washington, D.C."

The president will continue to pursue terrorists with all the tools at his disposal, the vice president said, recognizing the enemy "likely has combatants inside the United States."

Voters will have an opportunity in some of this year's national congressional elections to "reject resignation and defeatism," Cheney said.
Here is Fortenberry's opponent:
"I will fight to make sure that our soldiers have clear benchmarks and goals so that we can measure our success in Iraq, complete our mission, and begin bringing our troops home," Moul said.
Do the Democrats really want to run on a cut and run strategy? If we remove our troops from Iraq, then we prove what Bin Laden said about us, that we are a paper tiger and will back down from a fighcasualtiesugh causualties and it will embolden our enemies to continue their fight against us. I really wish we had leaders (besides Bush and Cheney) who understood this and who had the will to stay the course and fight. Haven't we learned from history? Bin Laden has!

(Link via Drudge Report)

I am still alive, BTW

In case anyone was wondering what happened to me, I unexpectedly lost my Internet connection on Sunday. I'm back for a little while today but I won't be back again until tomorrow night.

When I checked my email last night I had 64 messages (this includes comments). It didn't take me as long as it usually does to answer them because I was smart, I didn't answer the blogroll application requests, that cut about an hour off my time :-)

And Ang, that person who shall remain nameless also prayed (both she and her daughters) and so she isn't very surprised that you made it. She knows that power of God and was expecting you to make it through the week even though she kept teasing you about your lack of camping experience.

Also, I forgot to mention, if you haven't checked out my Carnvial of the Blogging Chicks entry, go check it out now. It's a post on the mommy wars.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Prayer Request

This past Friday, my husband was rushed to the hospital with an irregular heartbeat. The normal heart rate for an adult is 60-80 beats per minute, Mike's was anywhere from 120-170!

So I get the call around 9:30AM from him telling me they (the medical doctors where he works) are sending him to the hospital in downtown NYC. It's the kind of phone call I've been worried about getting ever since we found out he had a heart condition (he has a leaky heart valve). I've been worried that something would happen while he was at work and I wouldn't be able to get there. It's not easy to get into the city; I live about 1 1/2-2 hours away in New Jersey. So needless to say, I felt helpless and scared.

I'm thankful that he was given the wisdom to go up to medical where he works and didn't ignore his symptoms any longer. He has been complaining about not feeling good for some time now, so in God's providence it has turned out to be a blessing of sorts.

The doctor's have determined that Mike may have hyperthyroidism which could have been the cause of his erratic heartbeat. Tomorrow we are going to an endocrinologist with a follow-up at his cardiologist.

Please pray for us that we will be given wisdom as we make decisions, that what Mike has will be made known and that His peace will rule in our hearts.


First of all, thank you all for your prayers. It's very appreciated!

Secondly, Mike has atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) that the Doctors think was brought on by hyperthryoidism (too much thryoid hormone). He may have Graves disease. He also needs to get an ultra-sound of his thryoid because the doctor felt a nodule on it. The biggest complication with a-fib is stroke. So they put Mike on a bloodthinner to prevent that from happening. Becaue he also has a leaky heart valve it puts him at a moderate risk of stroke.

So keep us in your prayers. Pray that Mike won't forget to take all his medications (he has to take different pills at different times of the day) and that he will be a good patient. Also that his blood will thin to the right consistency so that his risk of stroke diminishes while we wait on further tests. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks again, Susie

A'Camping We Went

Hello Everyone!
My family and I just returned from the great state of Maine. We went on our first ever camping trip. There were many people who shall remain nameless who would've bet good money that I would wimp out during this trip. I really wish that they (and I) were the gambling types, because I would've won handily!!
I had a great time.
Seriously. And I have witnesses too.
Witnesses who said that if they could give out awards for the most surprising camper, I'd win. These witnesses also said that I deserved an award for being the Most Prepared First Time Camper. Quite an honor!
Anyway, I'm exhausted and I want to go sleep in my lovely bed now (as cozy as the air mattress and tent were.)

I will really, really try to come back here tomorrow and give more details. Maybe I'll download a couple of pictures too.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Disarming Hezbollah? Nope, not going to happen

This is such a mess, how the heck is Israel ever going to be safe from attack if they leave these terrorists fully armed? Annan is makes it clear they aren't going to be disarmed:

"The troops are not going there to disarm Hezbollah. Let's be clear about that," he said.

Regev reiterated Israel would not lift its air and sea embargo of Lebanon until peacekeepers take positions along the Syrian border to block arms shipments to Hezbollah from its two main supporters, Iran and Syria.

But Annan said peacekeepers would deploy on the Syrian border only at Lebanon's request, which Beirut has yet to make. Such a move would aggravate tensions with Syria, which views the deployment of international troops along the border as a hostile act.

"The resolution does not require the deployment of U.N. troops to the border," Annan said at a news conference after a three-hour meeting with the 25 EU ministers Friday.

Is it an abortion or murder?

Anna has a story of a woman who was on her way to have an abortion but delievered the baby before she could have one. The baby was born alive but a clinic worker shoved the baby into a biohazard bag and sealed it, instead of taking the baby to a hospital. The police were investigating the incident and the clinic has surrendered it's licence.

Go read the story, I'm going to say more on it later.

Carnival of the Blogging Chicks #11

The Carnival is up. It was a pain in the hindquarters to get it up this week because I kept falling asleep while doing it, then this morning I looked at it and I couldn't believe it was so messed up. The links weren't working, I had some html showing and there were some funky characters in some of the posts.

And about those funky characters, I have to say that I hate Apple. They have to be fancy and mess up their text characters so that when I get an email from Mac users, I have to remember to replace the dash, comma, quotation marks and apostrophes or I publish funky characters. Very annoying and time consuming.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Further Ramifications of the Cease-Fire

Fuels the enemies' ambitions:

Meanwhile, a radical Islamic group called Hizb al-Tahrir (Liberation Party) is planning to declare the birth of an Islamic caliphate in the Gaza Strip on Friday. The relatively small party, which is seen as more extreme than Hamas, is said to have increased its popularity following what is perceived as a Hizbullah victory over Israel.

On Tuesday, thousands of the party's supporters staged a demonstration in Gaza City to mark the anniversary of the end of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. It was the first demonstration in the Gaza Strip in which demonstrators called for establishing an Islamic caliphate that would rule not only in the PA territories, but the entire world.

Buoyed by the large turnout, the party's leaders are now considering declaring an Islamic caliphate in the Gaza Strip during Friday prayers, sources close to the party said.

They're being more open about what they ultimately want, they've tasted victory, they can defeat the "Great Satan," Allah is on their side. Why not state what this is all about?


(Link via little green footballs)

Friday, August 25, 2006

I'm shocked this number isn't higher

What, only 53%? Wouldn't you expect this number to be higher after a bombing and a plot to blow up planes in the sky all based on someone's interpretation of the Koran:

Most people in the UK feel threatened by Islam, a poll has revealed, after the Government launched a bid to tackle inter-faith tensions.

The YouGov survey for the Daily Telegraph found 53% were concerned about the impact of the religion - not just fundamentalist elements - up 21% from 2001.

There had also been a near doubling of the number agreeing that "a large proportion of British Muslims feel no sense of loyalty to this country and are prepared to condone or even carry out acts of terrorism".

(Link via little green footballs)

Update: Prayer Request for Professor Groves

I received an update on Professor Groves surgery, his surgery lasted one and a half hours and all went well and he will be in the hospital over the weekend. Please continue to pray.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Pluto Loses its Status

My daughters are not too happy about this:

Pluto, beloved by some as a cosmic underdog but scorned by astronomers who considered it too dinky and distant, was unceremoniously stripped of its status as a planet Thursday.

The International Astronomical Union, dramatically reversing course just a week after floating the idea of reaffirming Pluto's planethood and adding three new planets to Earth's neighborhood, downgraded the ninth rock from the sun in historic new galactic guidelines.

The shift will have the world's teachers scrambling to alter lesson plans just as schools open for the fall term.

"It will all take some explanation, but it is really just a reclassification and I can't see that it will cause any problems," said Neil Crumpton, who teaches science at a high school north of London. "Science is an evolving subject and always will be."
"The word 'planet' and the idea of planets can be emotional because they're something we learn as children," said Richard Binzel, a professor of planetary science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who helped hammer out the new definition.

"This is really all about science, which is all about getting new facts," he said. "Science has marched on. ... Many more Plutos wait to be discovered."

Pluto, a planet since 1930, got the boot because it didn't meet the new rules, which say a planet not only must orbit the sun and be large enough to assume a nearly round shape, but must "clear the neighborhood around its orbit." That disqualifies Pluto, whose oblong orbit overlaps Neptune's, downsizing the solar system to eight planets from the traditional nine.
My daughters rejected this and refused to accept that Pluto isn't a planet. I think they are emotionally attached to it :-) They will be happy to know they are not alone:
But mission head Alan Stern said he was "embarrassed" by Pluto's undoing and predicted that Thursday's vote would not end the debate. Although 2,500 astronomers from 75 nations attended the conference, only about 300 showed up to vote.

"It's a sloppy definition. It's bad science," he said. "It ain't over."
Tags: ,

Update: Dell isn't the only one

It's spreading (as I mentioned it would here):

Ten days after Dell's record-setting notebook battery recall, Apple Computer Inc. told its customers Thursday to return 1.8 million batteries that could cause their Mac laptops to overheat and catch fire.

Both recalls involve lithium-ion batteries made by a Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE - news). subsidiary in Japan, where the manufacturing process introduced metal particles into battery cells. Makers of battery cells strive to minimize or eliminate the presence of such particles, which can cause computers to short circuit, or, in extreme situations, catch fire.

In its recall announcement, Apple said it has received nine reports of lithium-ion battery packs overheating, including two cases in which users suffered minor burns and some involving minor property damage. The Apple recall only applies to older notebooks — not the just-released MacBooks and MacBook Pros.


Apple's recall covers 1.1 million rechargeable batteries in the 12-inch iBook G4, 12-inch PowerBook G4 and 15-inch PowerBook G4 laptops sold in the United States from October 2003 through August 2006. The recall also covers an additional 700,000 batteries in laptops sold abroad, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The recall affects only laptops that run PowerPC chips built by IBM Corp. and Freescale Semiconductor Inc. It does not affect Apple's Intel Corp.-based models, including the MacBook and MacBook Pro.

Apple notebook owners were told to stop using the batteries and to remove them from their laptops. The machines can continue to be used as long as they're plugged into an AC power source.

Apple asked customers to consult a Web site or call a toll-free hot line, 1-800-275-2273, to determine whether they have a battery that is covered by the recall. A free replacement will be shipped to affected customers.
Read the rest here (the rest being the fact the author's attempt to play up the fact that Apple waited two weeks before they announced a recall -- makes them look less consumer-friendly according to this author).

Tags: , , ,

Hezbollah TV

Well, this is good news:
A man alleged to have used his HDTV service to provide New York area customers with Hezbollah television broadcasts was arrested yesterday. He's been charged with conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

Javed Iqbal is alleged to have provided customers with satellite broadcasts from the Al Manar television station, which is owned and operated by Hezbollah.

Al Manar...was named a global terrorist entity by the U.S. Department of Treasury earlier this year, thereby making it illegal to engage in business transactions with them.

Prayer for Professor Al Groves' Surgery

Please pray for Professor Al Groves' surgery today. I just got an email that he is in surgery now. He's in surgery to have brain tumors removed (one of them is pretty large), pray that God will bring him safely through the surgery and that they get all the tumors.

Internet Problems

I'm having Internet problems and it's really frustrating. I went shopping yesterday for sneakers for Sarah for school (more on that later today) and when we got back home the Internet was slow and I couldn't connect properly. And today I have to go out again, so light posting today as well. I'll try to post tonight if the Internet is working.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Waning days of Summer

It's official, it's the last days of summer.

Because I just received my daughters' back to school calendar in the mail.

I can't believe the summer is almost over!

School starts on September 6! That means that all the things I hoped to do during the summer had better happen soon.

As a student myself, I've been enjoying the lazy days of summer. I have taken advantage of sleeping in, yes, I've been getting up at 9am (ssshhh, don't tell my husband). I've been loving it! At the beginning of summer I had mapped out what we were going to do over the summer. One of the things I had hoped to do was to organize my house (closets and cabinets).

The primary reason is that last year I began going to college. I didn't realize, really, what that was going to mean for my family life. I thought I knew, but I didn't. One thing I did learn was that things would have run smoother and would have been less stressful if I was better organized around the home.

I'm glad that the Lord reminded me this morning to "look carefully then how you [I] walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of time... " (Ephesians 5:15) because if I don't make the best use of time NOW, the days will slip by and I'll find myself back on the school treadmill before I know it.

With that all said, I've been busy cleaning out baskets that have collected
A LOT of stuff over the last year. I love baskets because you can just stick stuff in them to clean off the kitchen counters, but when they start overflowing and you can't remember what's in them, well, then it's time to purge. Also, I want to be prepared for the onslaught of papers that the girls will be bringing home from school.

I finally tackled my 7-year old daughter's closet yesterday. I'm ashamed to say that more than 3/4 of the clothes in her closet she had grown out of last year!

One other ambitious project I started at the beginning of summer was to organize our family photo's. I'd like to create a photo gallery wall. I've only been saying that since we moved into our house six years ago! Right now, I have a pile of pictures sitting on the floor of my office just begging to be organized. My girls and I have been going down memory lane as we've tried to organize them. It's been fun but we never get very far because inevitably, we end up staying down "memory lane" too long. I hope to at least have the pictures that I want to frame chosen before school starts.

That's what I plan to do before school starts, what about you?

Western nations shouldn't get too comfortable

The Germans were surprised by the discovery of bombs in their subways since they opposed the war:

A Lebanese student suspected of planting a train bomb that failed to explode had contacts in Hamburg, authorities said Tuesday, the latest link to the northern port city where three of the Sept. 11 suicide pilots prepared for their attacks.

The planned attack here stunned Germans who thought the country's vehement opposition to the Iraq war would insulate it from becoming a terror target almost five years after the attacks on Washington and New York.


Where Germany before Sept. 11 was seen as a relatively comfortable base for terrorists to live and operate — but not a target — that is no longer the case, said Kai Hirschmann, deputy director of Essen's Institute for Terrorism Research and Security Policy.

"Intelligence agencies and police are now very much trying to arrest them ... and the scene is under constant surveillance," Hirschmann said.

Germany is also seen as being on the side of the U.S. and Britain, despite its opposition to the Iraq war, for helping train Iraqi police and military outside the country, taking a large role in operations in
Afghanistan, and making other contributions to the so-called "war on terror," he said.

In the failed train bombings, the evidence points to poorly trained radicals not closely linked to terrorist networks, Hirschmann said.
See, this is the problem with thinking that terrorists are attacking because of the war, it leaves you unprepared for an attack. No western nation is safe, even those that didn't support the war or who support Israel. This is about a worldview, a way of life. This is about living out what you believe. Islam is at war with the West and therefore no one is safe.

And even nations like France, China and Russia who are openly supportive of Iran will find out that they are also targets because the final solution is the domination of Islam. When Iran gets their nukes, then their current allies will see that they've been played.

(Link via little green footballs)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


If you play blogshares, you might want to buy Reformed Chicks shares because we are seriously undervauled.

This is why McCaine will not be the presidential candidate in '08

Why in the world would McCain try to undermine DeWine's re-election effort:

Republican Sen. John McCain, a staunch defender of the Iraq war, on Tuesday faulted the Bush administration for misleading Americans into believing the conflict would be "some kind of day at the beach."

The potential 2008 presidential candidate, who a day earlier had rejected calls for withdrawing U.S. forces, said the administration had failed to make clear the challenges facing the military.

"I think one of the biggest mistakes we made was underestimating the size of the task and the sacrifices that would be required," McCain said. "Stuff happens, mission accomplished, last throes, a few dead-enders. I'm just more familiar with those statements than anyone else because it grieves me so much that we had not told the American people how tough and difficult this task would be."
Why in the world would McCain make such a foolish statement? A statement that it's very easy to refute by just going to the Whitehouse website and searching for the words "tough" and "Iraq war." Here are some of the statements I found:
Before our mission in Iraq is accomplished, there will be tough days ahead. A time of war is a time of sacrifice, and we've lost some very fine men and women in this war on terror. (BTW, from this speech it's clear that Bush has a workable plan for the war in Iraq.)

We will do all in our power to ensure that freedom finds a lasting home in Afghanistan and in Iraq. We know this will require patience and sacrifice.

We've got hard work to do in Iraq. And it's tough, and it's hard. I know it's hard.

We have more work to do, and there will be tough moments that test America's resolve. We're fighting against men with blind hatred -- and armed with lethal weapons -- who are capable of any atrocity. They wear no uniform; they respect no laws of warfare or morality. They take innocent lives to create chaos for the cameras. They are trying to shake our will in Iraq, just as they tried to shake our will on September the 11th, 2001. They will fail. The terrorists do not understand America. The American people do not falter under threat, and we will not allow our future to be determined by car bombers and assassins.

And, therefore, the sooner the people -- the more the people realize that, I think the more comfortable they'll be with their future. And the sooner that sovereignty is handed over in a way commensurate with a -- with a stable country, the better off it is. That's been our position all along. So we're constantly reviewing the progress.

There's been -- obviously, it's tough. We lost Italian police today. These killers are -- they're hard-nosed people. They'll kill because they want to intimidate. They want us to leave. That's their goal.

They've got different ambitions. Some would like to see a Taliban-type government, that would be the Mujahedin-type people. Some want to revenge the loss, the defeat in Afghanistan. They would be your al Qaeda-types. And the Baathists, of course, want to get back in power. They represent roughly 18 percent of the people, and they've had 100 percent of the power. And they like that. And, obviously, in a free society, that's not going to be the case, power sharing as opposed to not power sharing.

And so there are elements of the Baathists and Saddam holdouts that are desperately trying -- and I use the word "desperate" because they see the progress being made. And there is progress being made. And I certainly don't want to underestimate the security situation. I know how tough it is. I know how tough it is firsthand.

Those are just some of the many statements that Bush has made on the war.

Saying these things gives fuel to our enemies:
Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he was glad to hear McCain has realized "we need more than tough talk" on Iraq.

"It's time we win the war on terror," said Reid. "To do that we must change the course in Iraq."
Since McCain likes to stab Republican's in the back, I think we should call him, "McCaine." We don't need Republicans beating up our president in time of war, it undermines his authority and his ability to galvanize this nation to support the war effort. And it gives fuel to the forces that are working against our nation here and abroad. A man who does that should never be the commander and chief of our armed forces nor leader of this nation.

(Link via Drudge Report)

Israel (and the US) should have known better

If Israel discovers that Hezbollah is rearming, then they are to file a complaint with the UN:

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan views the Israel Defense Forces' commando operation near Baalbek over the weekend as a violation of the cease-fire agreement, UN envoy Terje Roed-Larsen told Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni during their meeting in Jerusalem Monday. "If you discovered arms smuggling, you could have complained through diplomatic channels," Larsen told Livni.

"We will consider that route as well," Livni replied with a smile.
Then what? Will the UN stop Hezbollah from rearming? Ha! As we have seen over and over and over again just this last week, that's not going to happen.

(Link via little green footballs)

Is there a law against killing them?

Why do the people sound so terrorized in this article? Aren't they allowed to kill them? Are raccoons a protected species? If you don't want them killing cats, wouldn't it be a good idea to kill them instead of trying to scare them off:

Raccoons have killed about 10 cats in a three-block area near the Garfield Nature Trail at Harrison Avenue West and Foote Street Southwest.

The problem got so bad that residents Kari Hall and Tamara Keeton even started a Raccoon Watch after having an emotional neighborhood meeting attended by about 40 people.

"It was a place for people to mourn and cry," Hall said.

At the meeting, they encouraged people to stop feeding the raccoons. They also decided to keep their pets and pet food inside. And they decided to carry pepper spray to drive off raccoons that attack again.


Keeton and Pam Corwin have decided to have "cat coops" built so their pets can go outside and have some room to roam, with protection.

It's not just cats being attacked. Five raccoons actually ganged up on and carried off a little dog, who survived.


"We were right there trying to get him off the cat," she said. "The cat was screaming, and the raccoon was ferocious. My husband and a neighbor grabbed a shovel and a bat, and they were waving them until it took off. It was scary."


Keeton said the raccoons travel their route so often they've worn a path.

"It's like a freeway in the back yard," she said. "It's like clockwork. They come between 9 and 9:30 every night."

If their route is known, why isn't animal control doing something? Isn't that their job? Why can't the home owners do something to protect themselves against animals that are trying to harm their pets? Have Americans really become this wimpy that they are terrorized by raccoons:
Keeton added: "It may sound silly, but a lot of the people here truly feel scared and terrorized."
Sheesh! Toughen up, America!

(Link via Drudge Report)

Why am I not surprised?

You could see this coming:

Hizbollah mourners on a funeral parade shoved aside anti-tank barriers at a United Nations base in Lebanon yesterday in a demonstration of their new political strength.

The party had been told it would be allowed to bury three "martyrs" at the Naqoura town cemetery inside the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil) compound, but only if there was no flag-waving or political sloganising.

When the chanting procession, several hundred strong, reached the gates, it found the way barred by cruci-form steel tank traps. Mourners argued with the French guards, but failed to gain entry.

A mob of young men then dragged the barriers away and the UN opened the gates. "They will eat us alive," said a middle-aged official as the throng surged in.

The UN is such an ineffectual organization, why would anyony think they will be able to keep the peace?

Stop the ACLU

I was so upset that the ACLU is trying to undermine the war on terror that I've joined the Stop the ACLU blogroll. I'd been meaning to join for a while but this just pushed me over the edge to action.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Thanks Brits!

How thankful am I that the British Police foiled the plotting of these terrorists?

Imagine, these terrorists had enough bomb making materials to take down as much as ten planes whose final destination was the United States!

The damage done with just three planes was devastating enough, imagine what ten planes could have done?

Accordinging to the Washington Times

The British Police on Monday [today] charged eight people being held on suspicion of plotting bomb attacks on airplanes and said they had evidence supporting the plot. Two other people were being held for allegedly failing to disclose information and a youth was charged with possessing articles useful to a person preparing acts of terrorism.

[and that]
At a news conference in London, Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke gave an unusually detailed account of what had been found since the raids this month that all but stopped air traffic in Britain.
"Since Aug. 10 we have found bomb-making equipment," Clarke said "There are chemicals, including hydrogen peroxide, electrical components, documents and other items.
The war on terror is indeed a world-wide campaign. Even if countries in Europe and people in our own country want to pretend that we can appease the terrorists; that we can make peace treaties and they will leave us alone.

It's madness.

Much like what happened when Hitler was rising to power and it wasn't until he invaded Poland and actually started bombing England that he was taken seriously; then they had no choice but to finally get involved in WWII.

The fact remains that if the British were not on their toes now we would have another 9-11 on our hands.

It's nice to have allies who are looking out for you and who take seriously this world-wide challenge, this War on Terror.

Further proof that this is not about the war

Everyone should be able to agree that Denmark was not involved in the war in Iraq, they don't have troops on Arab soil and they are not a supporter of Israel and yet they have their own jihadists:

A Danish Muslim is to go on trial in Denmark on charges of inciting local Muslims to commit terrorist acts.

Moroccan-born Said Mansour is accused of distributing videos and other material calling for a holy war against the West.

Mr Mansour, who has been held on remand since last September, denies the accusations.

His trial will be the first in Denmark under the anti-terror laws introduced after the 11 September 2001 attacks.
As I've mentioned before, it's not about the war, it is yet another version of the crusades. Time and again Muslims have sought to spread Islam and they continue till this day to do so.

(Link via Religious News Online)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I like it!

Alan has decided to reclaim purple. Alan, you're also taking it back from the Red Hats.

The Democrats are "the people of Connecticut?"

The Connecticut Democrats are people but are they the people. I guess November will show whether Lieberman is out of step with the people of Connecticut or only the anti-war Democrats:

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., blasted a fellow Democrat, Sen. Joe Lieberman, for continuing his bid in the Connecticut Senate race despite a narrow loss to newcomer Ned Lamont in the Democratic primary earlier this month.

"I'm concerned that [Lieberman] is making a Republican case," Kerry told ABC News' "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" in an exclusive appearance.

Kerry accused the 2000 Democratic vice presidential candidate of "adopting the rhetoric of Dick Cheney," on the issue of Iraq.

"Joe Lieberman is out of step with the people of Connecticut," Kerry added, insisting Lieberman's stance on Iraq, "shows you just why he got in trouble with the Democrats there."

Read the rest here.

This guy talks like Lieberman lost by a Kerry style margin, he only lost by 10,000 votes. Lamont is in step with half the Democrats of the state and if John Kerry were concerned what the people of Connecticut want, why not give them the ability to say "Yes, we support the war" and vote for Lieberman or "No, we don't support the war" and vote for Lamont?" The war will get it's mandate, which Kerry does not want. If Lamont is handed a stunning defeat, wouldn't that be the worst possible scenario for Kerry? If "it's all about the war stupid" should lose at the polls, what does that mean for an anti-war candidate for 2008? (Since the whole 2006 anti-war, anti-incumbent spin is focused totally on this race.)

Hindus Attack a Jailed Christian

I've been told that Hindus don't force their religion on others, I guess they just don't want Christians to practice their religion and will stop them, forcefully if necessary:

"About 15 extremists of the Bajrang Dal [a militant Hindu organization], seemingly in connivance with jail authorities, managed to get into the Mardala district jail and brutally beat up Chetraven Rajan, owner of a company making sweets," Albert Lael, organizing secretary of the All India Christian Council (AICC), told Compass. "No jail official came to save the victim."

Lael said Hindu extremist groups had long been threatening Rajan, who has been involved in Christian and social work especially among Dalits.

The attack came to light only when Rajan's relatives visited him in jail and noticed marks on his body.

"Despite the fact that Rajan had several injury marks and said he could identify the attackers, jail authorities refused to register a complaint against the miscreants, nor did they take him to a hospital for treatment," added the AICC leader.

After state Christian leaders insisted on giving protection to the victim against further attacks, however, authorities shifted him to the Mysore jail.
Pray for the Christians of India as they have to deal with Muslims and Hindus and a government that refuses to protect them.

Annan is a pain in the hindquarters

How much longer does Annan have to rule the world?

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Saturday that an early-morning Israeli raid against Hezbollah in eastern Lebanon violated the 6-day-old cease-fire brokered by the United Nations.
He makes me want to swear and I'm not allowed, Lauren would kick me off her blogroll. Why is he in charge of the cease-fire? Shouldn't we have someone in charge who is honest and not in bed with the terrorists?

And if Israel doesn't disarm Hezbollah, who will? Not the UN, France or Condi as we have seen over the course of this past week. So, I hope Israel continues:
But with Europe moving slowly to provide more troops, Israel warned it would continue to act on its own to enforce an arms embargo on the Lebanese guerrilla group until the Lebanese army and an expanded U.N. peacekeeping force are in place.

"If the Syrians and Iran continue to arm Hezbollah in violation of the resolution, Israel is entitled to act to defend the principle of the arms embargo," Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said. "Once the Lebanese army and the international forces are active ... then such Israeli activity will become superfluous."

So Funny!

I never thought that Life Under the Sun would have more traffic than Reformed Chicks but today, an article over there was linked to by another blog. It was an article I wrote on using Greek Tutor to study Greek.

BTW, I'm on the road. How great is it that you never have to leave the comfort of your blog when you are away from home! I can sit in the comfort of my hotel room and blog and it's just like I was at home :-)

My brother-in-law is here and he threatened to come to my blog and leave me nasty comments, so if you see any comments that are slightly insane and liberal, they might be him.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Israel violates the cease-fire when it tries to disarm Hezbollah

We saw this coming. Everyone, from Condi to the French, to the Lebanese government have said that they aren't going to disarm Hezbollah. So, when Israel tries to make sure Hezbollah doesn't get any new weapons, they are accused of violating the cease-fire:

Hezbollah fighters battled Israeli commandos who landed near the militants' stronghold deep inside Lebanon early Saturday, killing one soldier, in the first apparent large-scale violation of the U.N.-brokered cease-fire between the sides.

Hezbollah said its guerrillas foiled the raid after a gunbattle, and the Israeli army said one soldier was killed and two were wounded, one seriously.
The Israeli army said the special forces operation aimed "to prevent and interfere with terror activity against Israel, especially the smuggling of arms from
Iran and Syria to Hezbollah." It said the commando team completed its mission.

The army said such operations would be carried out until "an effective monitoring unit" of Lebanese or multinational troops was in place.

"If the Syrians and Iran continue to arm Hezbollah in violation of the (U.N. cease-fire) resolution, Israel is entitled to act to defend the principle of the arms embargo," Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Mark Regev said.
Israeli troops have killed several guerrillas who Israel said threatened its troops in south Lebanon since the cease-fire, and warplanes have flown over the country. But the cease-fire allows military action in self-defense, and the commando raid was by far the most serious incident since Monday.
In letters to Lebanese and Israeli leaders, U.N. Secretary-General
Kofi Annan has warned the two countries against occupying additional territory and told them to refrain from responding to any attacks "except where clearly required in immediate self-defense."

Annan also told Israel and Lebanon that once the cessation of hostilities took effect there must be no firing from the ground, sea or air into the other side's territory or at its forces.
I thought they retained the right to defend themselves? Isn't that the right all nations have? No matter what they do now, it will be considered a violation.

This is not my demoninationdenomination

Oh those wacky Presbyterians, it's not enough to trash the Trinity, now they have decided to publish a tin-foil hat, conspiracy book about 9/11:

A book suggesting the September 11 attacks were engineered by the U.S. government is raising hackles among the faithful because its publisher is an agency of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the largest of several Presbyterian denominations.
"Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action" is already in its second printing after having sold 5,000 copies in its first month. It accuses the Bush administration -- in power only eight months at the time of the 2001 terrorist attacks -- of plotting September 11 to justify war with Afghanistan and Iraq, and to expand an "American empire."
"PPC provides a variety of viewpoints in the books we publish. A few of them from time to time are controversial. This particular book is the work of an independent author and in no way represents the views of the denomination or PPC itself."
Yesterday the book, listed under PPC's Westminster John Knox imprint, was ranked No. 779 on Sales spiked higher Aug. 9, when the author appeared on MSNBC with interviewer Tucker Carlson. What sets Mr. Griffin and his book apart from other September 11 conspiracy theorists is his thesis that the church must "get involved in this issue."
"God is truth, and churches concerned with God should be concerned with truth," he said yesterday in a telephone interview. "If we decide 9/11 was an inside job as a pretext to enlarge the American empire, Christians above all should be opposed to empire and therefore be particularly concerned to expose the truth about 9/11."
He questions whether hijackers were even on the doomed planes and speculates that hidden explosives, not jetliners, brought down the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York.
"Throughout the 1990s, the neocons had laid out the programs needed for a Pax Americana," he said. "It would appear," he added, they orchestrated the attacks as "9/11 enabled the neocon program to become official policy."
Oh, poor John Knox, it is truly sad that his name is associated with this piece of dreck! And poor Hugh Hewitt, this is his demonination denomination:
As one who has been ordained as an Elder in the PCUSA, I am again obliged to apologize for having failed during my time on a Session to work to reform the denominational "leadership."
Subsidizing this foolishness is irresponsible. And the presbyteries across the country owe a sharp and public rebuke to this slander which extends far beyond the president and his Cabinet.
I agree with Hugh that his denomination should repent for publishing slander against the Bush administration. It's not only crazy, it's a sin.

Update: OK, you know the drill, I can't spell, blah, blah, blah

Friday, August 18, 2006

I thought Germany opposed the war in Iraq

So, if it is, as we have been lead to believe, all about the war stupid, why would terrorists target Germany for attack? They opposed the war in Iraq and they definitely haven't been supportive of Israel. Why attack them? Maybe because they're not under Islamic rule?

And boy did they receive a break, if the bombs had gone off, they would have had a London type bombing on their hands:

The bombs were found in the German cities of Dortmund and Koblenz on July 31 with German Criminal Police Office (BKA) chief Jörg Ziercke saying that were arranged to explode simultaneously at 2:30 p.m. Neither of the bombs was detonated.
The BKA suggested that Germany was being targeted for attacks possibly by a terrorist organization operating in the country. If the explosive devices had been detonated, their size and construction would have created devastation and death on a scale reminiscent of the July 7, 2005 attacks on the London transport system, according to a report in the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

Both of the suitcases discovered on July 31 contained gas cylinders rigged up to an ignition mechanism and had been left in two regional trains which usually run at the height of the commuter rush hour. The suitcases were discovered by rail staff when the trains terminated at the two hub stations. The construction of the devices and the potential impact the explosions would have had suggests a sophisticated plot.
(Link via Little Green Footballs)

Since no one is reading, I don't think I'll post

Traffic is at a record low today, so I might not post anything again today. Why bother? If a post is posted and no one reads it, is it worth the effort?

Maybe if traffic improves, I'll post something later on tonight.

Celebrities Support War on Terror

I wanted to mention this yesterday but there was too much other news going on and I didn't get a chance. I found this is be great news:

NICOLE Kidman has made a public stand against terrorism.

The actress, joined by 84 other high-profile Hollywood stars, directors, studio bosses and media moguls, has taken out a powerfully-worded full page advertisement in today's Los Angeles Times newspaper.

It specifically targets "terrorist organisations" such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine.

"We the undersigned are pained and devastated by the civilian casualties in Israel and Lebanon caused by terrorist actions initiated by terrorist organisations such as Hezbollah and Hamas," the ad reads.

"If we do not succeed in stopping terrorism around the world, chaos will rule and innocent people will continue to die.

"We need to support democratic societies and stop terrorism at all costs."
Go read the rest of the article and see who else was part of the ad.

(Link via Little Green Footballs)

Updated: UrbanGrounds has the complete list of celebrities. Thanks, Robbie for the link.

What does the word "peace" mean, anyway?

Hey, you Condi in '08 people, you might want to reconsider:

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was quoted in an American newspaper Thursday as saying that the UN force expected to deploy in south Lebanon will not be tasked with forcibly disarming Hezbollah.

"I don't think there is an expectation that this [UN] force is going to physically disarm Hezbollah," Rice told USA Today. "I think it's a little bit of a misreading about how you disarm a militia. You have to have a plan, first of all, for the disarmament of the militia, and then the hope is that some people lay down their arms voluntarily."

If Hezbollah resists international demands to disarm, Rice said, "one would have to assume that there will be others who are willing to call Hezbollah what we are willing to call it, which is a terrorist organization."
There is a UN resolution already for disarming Hezbollah and yet, no one did anything about it and now they have yet another empty resolution that no one will enforce. Why bother? Are we at war or not?

Read the rest here, because I didn't even bother with the quotes from the French. You might want to read it, you know the French on defense, they are usually quite amusing. The jokes just write themselves.

(Link via Little Green Footballs)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Carter Appointed Judge Undermines War on Terror

Guess who appointed this judge:

A federal judge ruled Thursday that the government's warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional and ordered an immediate halt to it.

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit became the first judge to strike down the National Security Agency's program, which she says violates the rights to free speech and privacy as well as the separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution.

"Plaintiffs have prevailed, and the public interest is clear, in this matter. It is the upholding of our Constitution," Taylor wrote in her 43-page opinion.

The U.S. Justice Department appealed the ruling and issued a statement saying the program is "an essential tool for the intelligence community in the war on terror."

"In the ongoing conflict with al-Qaida and its allies, the president has the primary duty under the Constitution to protect the American people," the department said. "The Constitution gives the president the full authority necessary to carry out that solemn duty, and we believe the program is lawful and protects civil liberties."

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on behalf of journalists, scholars and lawyers who say the program has made it difficult for them to do their jobs. They believe many of their overseas contacts are likely targets of the program, which involves wiretapping conversations between people in the U.S. and those in other countries.

The government argued that the program is well within the president's authority, but said proving that would require revealing state secrets.
Carter! Of course! She campaigned for him and he rewarded her with a life-time appointment. This is why we can't let the Democrats ever have that power again. They can't be trusted to appoint judges who will understand that we are at war and that trumps everything.

"Public interest is clear," yes it is and it's too bad that she couldn't see it. It's in the public's interest to be free from terrorism. Freedom means nothing if you are being bombed by a terrorist. These people are undermining our safety. She should be removed from the bench.

The terrorists have said that they will use our freedom against us and boy were they right. Our court system works against us every chance it gets.

Blogger will have categories soon

If you're thinking of leaving Blogger over categories, you might want to wait because Blogger is going to be providing categories soon. They are currently testing a system that will allow you to do categories and to add stuff with your mouse instead of editing your template (no more destroying your template because you are adding a link to your link list and didn't realize that your stupid touch pad had selected the entire bottom half of your template to be replaced, woohoo :-) Here are the particulars:

Today we're launching a new version of Blogger in beta! You've been asking for ways to do more with your blog, and you can with this new release. With the beta you can:
Take a look at the tour to see all the new things you can do (well, a lot of the new things ... they didn't all fit in the tour).

As we release this version, we're limiting the number of people who can switch over. (You'll see a link on your Blogger dashboard when you are able to move.) Eventually, of course, everyone will be able to transition their blogs to the new version. Thanks in advance for your patience as we roll it out.

If you can't wait, you can create a new account on the beta now and make a new blog to test out the new features. Because the new Blogger uses Google Accounts, you can use your existing Google login, or create a new one. (Later, you'll be able to merge your current and beta accounts, and have all your blogs in one place.)
I've tried it out and it looks easy to use and has some neat features, but they won't let you edit the html, yet and so the whole thing is useless for me until they do. I'm not using their templates so I have to be able to copy over my templates (I refuse to go back to blogger templates). It's fun to play with, though and you might want to set up a test blog to see what it looks like and get familiar with the new way to blog.

Review: Comeback

I posted this to Life Under the Sun already but since I some of you don't read that blog I thought I would post it here as well.

When I was asked to review Claire and Mia Fontaine's book I thought it sounded interesting. It's a mother/daughter memoir of their shared experience, told from both of their perspectives. I knew that it was not a book I would pick up and read because I don't read a lot of biographies but the description of the book that Claire sent me made me very curious:

Do you remember how you had to just let your two-year-old squawk when you put her in time out? Well, I had to do the teenager version. Following her drug-fueled descent into society's underbelly, and my fruitless attempts to save her life by conventional means, I finally had to force her into a lock-down boot camp school, first in Eastern Europe and later, Montana. What followed was a grueling, two-year journey of self-discovery and transformation in which we both healed from a childhood trauma I had naively assumed was long behind us. It was extreme, but then so was she, and it worked. She recently graduated from Georgetown University.
This pretty much sums up the main action points of the story. It's a harrowing tale of what happens when your child decides to run away from home and doesn't want to return. This isn't the story of a girl who hated her mom and step dad, this is the story of a girl who hated herself and wanted to escape from the fallout of a childhood trauma into a world of drug-induced numbness.

The book starts out with a slice of what Claire thought was a happy family life, all was going well, she was working on adapting a great book into script for a movie and Mia was getting good grades at a prestigious, private school. After working late, she returns to find that her daughter wasn't in her bed and the window is open. Panic sets in when she discovers her daughter is missing and of course her thoughts turn to kidnapping until she sees her daughter's goodbye note and then her whole world shatters and the rest of the book is about her putting their lives back together.

Imagine what it must have felt like to come home after a perfect day to find that your one and only daughter has left and she doesn't want you to try to find her. Image how you would feel. Claire helps her reader imagine by painting a vivid picture of her experience. You live with Mia and Claire throughout the harrowing months of Mia's descent into drugs and living a life of degradation and you experience the painful growth process necessary for them to become a family once more. Claire's writing style matches her material, it's intimate and urgent. There's a rawness of emotions that comes through her writing. You experience the pain of rejection and failure that Claire experienced and you understand why Mia does the things that she does, she gives reason to the seemly senseless actions of a teenage girl. What would make a teenage girl run away from a good home, one with parents who love her very much? Mia helps the reader to see why this might happen. Her experience helps the reader to see inside the head of a messed up girl and not only her but those she befriends at the facilities she went to.

What really jumped out at you, on almost every page of the book, was the love that Claire had for her child. It poured from the pages of the book, from it's beginning to it's end, you know that she loves her daughter:
It is its own religion, this love. Uncontainable, savage, and without end, it is what I feel for my child.
I know what love like that feels like because I've experienced it with my own daughters. I was able to connect with Claire through the shared emotion of love that we feel for our children. It makes the rest of the book so hard to read because you know how you would feel if the child you loved so much rejected you and wanted to live in squalor instead of the loving environment you provided for her. But it's also what gives Claire the determination to continue even when she may have wanted to give up.

I also appreciated the stark contrast between how the state treated Mia and what the treatment facility did. It really demonstrated the problems that we have with our family court system. Claire knew what was wrong with her daughter, she immediately could see that a trauma in her past had not been resolved for Mia and this pushed her to her current behavior but the state's "professionals" didn't listen, they thought she should do as she wished and not be pushed by her mother. They looked at her mom as controlling and Mia, being a brilliant manipulator, was able to play them and get the freedom she wanted and fall further and further under the influence of heroin. But the treatment facility knew Mia's game and wouldn't let her play it, they called her on it. They used a tough love and a peer review approach that was really quite brilliant. Who do teenagers listen to? Each other. They could see through each other's games and called each other out on them.

There were some slow points, the material on the seminars that Claire attended while her daughter was in treatment were a little longish and seemed repetitive, though I can understand why she included them. It was part of the process of healing for her and Mia. Through them she came to the realization that she helped contribute to her daughter's problems even though she didn't realize it and they helped her grow in her knowledge of who she is and what she wanted in life and what she wanted to be able to give Mia when she returned from treatment. It's really brilliant of the treatment facility to make sure the parents are prepared to change so that they can be ready to receive a changed child. The facility heals the family dynamic while at the same time they treat the child.

But here is a warning before you buy the book, as Claire says, it deals with the underbelly of society. It is not for light, entertainment reading, it is a sad book about a girl who has to deal with some very dark issues and lives through a hellish nightmare at a very young age and decides life is not worth it sober. This leads here to do things that you wouldn't want your teenager doing. But the book is about hope and love and for that alone it should be read. You can't just close your eyes to what is going on in the world and it helps you to understand the street kids that you see in LA and other major cities a little better. They are there for a reason and this book helps you to see why.

Claire has a blog and there is a website for the book and if you want to purchase the book, go here.

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Concern in France about the UN "Peace" Treaty

Well, it seems the French have finally figured out that there might be a problem with their brand new UN "Peace" Treaty. Maybe they should have understood the implications before they pushed for it:

French Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie voiced concern about deploying troops without clearly defined goals.

"France wants the mission's rules of engagement to be clear and it to have real means," she told French TV.

"Sadly, all too often, the United Nations forces don't have the power that they asked for."

The main political parties share such reservations.

Jacques Myard, an MP in France's governing UMP party and a member of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, told the BBC the last UN resolution did not make it clear how France can act.

"I know that a lot of military, high-ranking officials in France are reluctant if this mandate is not very precise," he said.

The opposition socialists have also warned that "extreme vigilance" is needed, saying the UN resolution does nothing to address the conditions necessary for a political agreement that would guarantee the security of peacekeeping forces.

Above all, France wants to avoid a situation where its own soldiers find themselves having to disarm Hezbollah fighters.

In 1983, 58 French parachutists were killed in Beirut when the building in which they were staying was blown up. They too had been part of a multinational peacekeeping force.
How to disarm a terrorist group that doesn't want to be disarmed? Details, details. I guess the devil is in the details.

(Link via Little Green Footballs)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

It looks like Dell isn't the only one

There may be problems with other laptops that use the same battery:

The Sony batteries are also used in laptops from Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ - news), Apple Computer Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL - news) and Lenovo Group Ltd. (0992.HK).

"We are looking at the complete scope of the batteries made by Sony to ensure that no other consumers are in harm's way," U.S.
Consumer Product Safety Commission spokesman Scott Wolfson said. "We recognize that the batteries manufactured by Sony are not unique to just the Dell notebook computers."

Such batteries are also used in a wide array of gadgets including cellphones, digital cameras, camcorders and music players, and Wolfson added that the safety commission is encouraging companies and consumers to report potential defects in other devices using the battery cells but the focus for now was on laptops.
"It's probably not Dell-specific," said the president of market researcher Endpoint Technologies Associates, Roger Kay. "If they have the Sony cell, specifically the cell made between April 2004 and June 2006, they have the problem."
A Sony spokesman in Tokyo said on Tuesday the overheating problem is believed to be specific to batteries supplied to Dell, but recall decisions are up to each maker.

Hewlett-Packard, the world's No. 2 PC maker, said it was not affected by recall. "It's a Dell issue," spokesman Ryan Donovan said.

Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL.O) on Monday said it was looking into the matter.

A spokesman for Lenovo Group Ltd. (0992.HK), the third-largest PC maker by market share, said the company was not recalling any batteries "at this time."
BTW, a Dell representative left spam in the comment section of this post. I'm leaving it for the benefit of those who have a Dell and want the contact information.

OH NO! Democrats are making me nuts!

Why oh, why are the Democrats so dumb? Why do they want someone that shares the genes of one of the worst presidents in our nation's history to hold any elected office:

With 64 percent of precincts reporting, Carter claimed 78.6 percent of the vote to defeat middle school teacher Ruby Jee Tun. Ensign had won more than 90 percent of the vote over Ed "Fast Eddie" Hamilton of Las Vegas, with 68 percent of precincts reporting.
Even if he loses, having this big of a primary victory means he'll run for something.

I'm tempted to send money just to make sure he doesn't win (tempted doesn't mean I will, though).

Updated to add: I shouldn't have to do this, but proof that Carter was one of our worst presidents.

So Much for the UN "Peace" Treaty

Another great job by the UN:

Hezbollah refused to disarm and withdraw its fighters from the battle-scarred hills along the border with Israel on Tuesday, threatening to delay deployment of the Lebanese army and endangering a fragile cease-fire.
Hasan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader, had insisted that any disarmament of his militia -- even in the border area -- should be handled in longer-term discussions within the Lebanese government, according to government ministers. But the Lebanese army, backed by key political leaders, refused to send troops into the just-becalmed battle zone until Hezbollah's missiles, rockets and other weapons were taken north of the Litani River, the ministers said.

At stake in the standoff was implementation of a crucial provision of the U.N. Security Council cease-fire that went into effect Monday. The accord called for quick deployment of 15,000 Lebanese army troops south of the Litani River along the border with Israel. They were to take up positions under the aegis of a reinforced contingent of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, or UNIFIL, to form a peacekeeping corps with a total strength of about 30,000.

Hezbollah's reluctance to get its men and arms out of the border zone reflected nervousness over the continuing presence of Israeli soldiers on Lebanese soil. But it also demonstrated the militant Shiite Muslim movement's increased assertiveness here after a war of more than a month during which it stood off the Israeli army while Lebanon's national army stood aside.

I think the answer is that it probably has more to do with their positioning themselves for their next attack on Israel. Lebanon can't control Hezbollah, they don't even want to attempt to do it and this proves it. Hezbollah will not be disarmed and anyone who thought that this "peace" treaty would disarm them is a fool.

Then there's this:
On the ground, Hezbollah's militia and social welfare infrastructure were the only things still functioning in dozens of devastated villages across the border zone. Army troops in the village of Srifa, for example, were seen working under the orders of Hezbollah militia officers during a search for bodies buried under the rubble of buildings destroyed by Israeli bombing.

"What are the alternatives you have come up with?" Nasrallah asked. "Can the Lebanese army and the United Nations troops step up to the plate to defend the nation? Haste and simplification are out of the question. We were ready and will always be ready for dialogue to extend the authority of the state. We are part of the government and a basic part of it."
This reads like an apologetic for Hezbollah keeping their weapons, they need them against Israel since Israel is an aggressor. The whole article is an apologetic, we know what side this reporter is on. Pretty objective reporting.

Read the rest of the article here. Go read the rest because the whole article is slanted toward Hezbollah.

Clinton Unendorses Lieberman

Clinton's backpedaling in public again, what an amusing sight to behold:

The former president slapped Lieberman over the latter's suggestion that he lost because party liberals wanted to purge a politician who shared Clinton's overall philosophy of being progressive on domestic issues while supporting a robust national security policy.

"If I were Joe, and I was running as an independent, that's what I'd say, too," Clinton told ABC's "Good Morning America." "But that's not quite right. That is, there were almost no Democrats who agreed with his position, which was, 'I want to attack Iraq whether or not they have weapons of mass destruction.' "
When it comes to Iraq, Lieberman may not be as far apart from Clinton and his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), as the former president implied. Both Clintons supported the resolution authorizing the war. Neither has renounced that position, despite the absence of weapons of mass destruction.

Lieberman spokesman Dan Gerstein, in an e-mailed response, said Lieberman's posture was not the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld position, but one signed into law by Clinton himself in 1998 as the Iraq Liberation Act. That measure called for regime change there but not solely because then-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein harbored a desire for weapons of mass destruction.

Gerstein noted that Clinton had told an Aspen Institute audience last month that he agreed with Lieberman that it would be a mistake to set a timetable for withdrawal, as Lamont favors, and said Clinton had called efforts to punish Democrats who backed the war "the nuttiest strategy I ever heard in my life."
If you believe that it would be a mistake to cut and run, why endorse someone who wants to do just that? And why should anyone listen to you now that you are endorsing the opponent of the man you originally supported? And why should anyone listen to a thing you say about Liberman's position because you are a known liar (who, as we can see above, continues to lie)? This is proof that Democrats put party before principle. It's a great object lesson for the voters and I'm so glad that the race has national exposure.

I'm feeling better about Lieberman's chances now, no one Clinton has endorsed has won their race.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Green Helmet Guy Admits to Posing Dead Children

So he admitted doing it:

A civil defense worker who has drawn controversy for holding up the bodies of children killed in Lebanon said Tuesday he was lightly injured fighting a weekend fire sparked by an Israeli bomb.
The 20-year veteran civil defense worker said he shows dead children to photographers to make clear that Israeli airstrikes killed young Lebanese during the monthlong conflict. Some Internet bloggers have accused him of setting up photos and of treating the dead insensitively.
Go watch the video for yourself and see if he treats "the dead insensitively." (Hint: he holds the little boys head up so that the camera man can take the video.) And BTW, bloggers aren't the only ones making this accusation the video is from German TV.

(Link via Little Green Footballs)

This is how much they care about their dead children

Go watch the video to see how they treat their dead children. Cynical and disgusting.

And btw, this is the same guy that the AP defended. Tell me that the AP isn't pro-Hezbollah. We already know that Reuters is.

(Link for AP story via Little Green Footballs)

Update on the Book Meme

This guy analyzed 275 of the book memes that Susan posted and I posted on my blog to see what were people's favorite books. It's an interesting list. Go check it out here. I was surprised how may people listed the Instititutes as a favorite. Someone needs to do a followup to see how many of these people actually read all four books.

I thought the most interesting part of the analysis was the books that people wished hadn't been written. I would say, "Amen" to the whole list :-)

(Link via Carrie)

Stop the Presses, the Press has Lost their Press Room

So, the press is upset that the White House is renovating the press room. Dana Milbanks sees it as a symbol of the further isolation of the press:

The White House press corps spent its first day in exile yesterday, banished from the White House compound for the first time since the John Adams presidency while the West Wing briefing room undergoes a renovation.
Where in the constitution does it say that the president has to meet with the press and answer silly questions like these:
Does President Bush think the cease-fire in Israel and Lebanon will undermine support for Hezbollah?

"Did the president call for the respect of sovereignty by both sides?"

Does Bush support the Republican candidate for Senate in Connecticut, Alan Schlesinger?

But when he took questions later in the day at the State Department, Bush was sharp and energetic. "Hezbollah started the crisis, and Hezbollah suffered a defeat in this crisis," he said bluntly when asked who won the month-long Middle East fighting.
The press thinks that they are the watch dog of the government and to a certain extent it's important to have a public watch dog but the press isn't guaranteed access by the constitution. It isn't their right and from the way they have treated this president and the war on terror, they should expect to be isolated. They deserve to be isolated and for the safety of this nation, they better be isolated because they can't be trusted with our secrets.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Dell Recalls Laptops

Imagine if you had a Dell laptop in your lap when it caught fire. Ouch:

Dell Inc. said Monday it will recall 4.1 million notebook computer batteries because they can overheat and catch fire. Dell negotiated conditions of the recall with the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission, which called it the largest electronics-related recall ever conducted by the agency.
The battery packs were included in some models of Dell's Latitude, Inspiron, XTS and precision mobile workstation notebooks. Dell planned to launch a Web site overnight that would describe the affected models. Williams said the Web site would tell how consumers to get free replacement batteries from Dell.

There have been numerous recent news reports about Dell laptops bursting into flames, and pictures of some of the charred machines have circulated on the Internet.

Dell, the world's largest maker of personal computers, confirmed that two weeks ago, one of its laptops caught fire in Illinois, and the owner dunked it in water to douse the flames. Other reports have surfaced from as far away as Japan and Singapore.

When I was going to purchase a new laptop, my husband tried to talk me into getting a Dell Inspiron because they were so cheap but I told him that I'd heard of way too many problems with them. Tonight he said I was vindicated. Yes! It's good to be proved right.

Update again on the UN "Peace" Treaty

Those of us who were upset about the "peace" treaty were thrown a bone:

Olmert vowed that Israel would continue to hunt down the Hezbollah leaders, calling it a "moral" right, and said that Israel reserved the right to respond to any violation of the truce.

"We will continue to pursue them everywhere and at all times," he said. "We have no intention of asking anyone's permission."
I figured that Israel would go from overt action to covert, so I'm not surprised that they will continue to pursue Hezbollah leaders. They did it before the war, why not continue?

Then there's this:
The Israeli army said that six Hezbollah fighters were killed in three clashes after the cease-fire took effect, highlighting the tensions that could unravel the peace plan.
This is peace in our times.

(Links via Drudge Report)

Breast Cancer

Ladies, Anna has a post that you should read about breast cancer. There is this type of breast cancer that is deadly and isn't caught with a monthly self-exam and a mammo. Go read the article to be prepared.

Why do they hate us? Because we are not under Islamic rule

So, it's the war that has caused the Muslims to hate us. But don't we have a chicken and egg problem here? Didn't we get hit repeatedly before we even went to war? This article attempts to get to the heart of the problem of why Britain is being targeted for attack:

"Why is it not happening in some other country?" wondered Hussain, 53, a soft-spoken man in a tie and black-rimmed glasses who has lived here since he migrated from Pakistan 40 years ago. "Why is it happening here?"

The answer is that Britain has become an incubator for violent Islamic extremism, fueled by disenchantment at home and growing rage about events abroad, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


In one of Europe's largest Muslim communities, young men face a lack of jobs, poor educational achievement and discrimination in a highly class-oriented culture. Prime Minister Tony Blair is the most outspoken ally of President Bush, and their policies in Iraq and Afghanistan are seen by many Muslims as aimed at Islam.

Britain's long tradition of tolerance has made it an oasis for immigrants and political outcasts from around the world, with its large influx of Pakistanis and other Muslims leading to the nickname Londonistan. Especially during the 1980s and 1990s, Britain became the refuge of choice for scores of Islamic radicals who had been expelled or exiled from their home countries for their inflammatory sermons and speeches.


The attacks last summer, and this week's disclosure of a plot to bomb jumbo jets from the sky, have created a sense of unease not often seen in a nation that stoically endured some of World War II's worst bombings and a 30-year campaign of violence by the Irish Republican Army. Being a target of a new kind of terror -- one without specific demands, that seems to many here to be motivated by vengeance and hate -- has created a new uncertainty.


Asghar Bukhari of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee, which advocates Muslim involvement in the democratic process and opposes violence, said, "It's not hard to comprehend the mind of a Muslim." He said young British Muslims look around the world and "everywhere they are getting bombed," so they increasingly respond by saying, "Don't just sit down and take it -- let's fight them."


Hussain said many Pakistani immigrants moved out of tiny apartments cramped with relatives and now own multiple cars and houses and flourish financially. But over the years, he has also seen the seeds of radical Islam grow around him.


Is Campbell, leader of the Liberal Democrats and a leading opponent of Blair's government, said the reasons young Muslims turn to violence are more complicated than simply economic and social disadvantages.

"I used to think it was about having a stake in society, about people having poor housing and poor education," he said. "But the more you look at it, explaining it away as a lack of a stake in the success of the country might not be the easy answer some people think it is."

We weren't at war with anyone when we were repeatedly hit throughout the 90's and on 9/11 and yet the Muslims raged against us. They were preparing for their war long before we realized it. This article is just playing into the hands of the Islamic fascists.

"The root is foreign policy," said Bukhari, who has emerged in the past year as a leading voice of the young Muslim community. "Only a half-wit wouldn't understand that this is about" British and American policies in the Middle East.

So, it's the war, stupid not economics. Can it really be this simple:

"It's George Bush's policy that got us here today," said one worshiper, a law student, who declined to give his name. "It's his wars that have breeded the mentality and hate that is here today. And what we're angry about is that our Prime Minister Tony Blair doesn't represent the beliefs of the people."

Well, could we say that the war caused these people to protest the Denmark cartoonist with these signs:

BTW, these photos were taken at a protest in Britain. Don't the Muslims who complain about the treatment of the police against the Muslim community remember these protests? I bet the cops do. I bet this is what goes through their head when they go into the Muslim community.

(Photos via Snopes)

How about these:

(Photos via The Jawa Report)

Now, keep in mind that this is Denmark that these people are protesting. Denmark's not at war with anyone and they certainly don't support Israel.

What do these signs have in common? Islamic domination. What do they want? Why do they hate us? They hate us because we are not under Islamic rule, they hate our freedom. Notice that this is a theme in these photos.

But since I'm not working for a newspaper and I don't have a degree in journalism and I'm not an influential member of the media with editors and anonymous sources, I know that there will be some who think I'm not qualified to form a conclusion about this matter. And that there will be charges that I'm too simplistic in my reasoning. Only those who have the right credentials are allowed to air their opinion, so how about a professor? Will you listen to her? The following except is from a review of Mary Habeck's "Knowing the Enemy" in the Weekly Standard:
SO WHAT DOES EXPLAIN jihadist hatred of the West? It is true
that factors such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can help drive people into the enemy's camp. (Habeck refers to that conflict as the jihadists' "single best recruiting tool.") But Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and their comrades aren't simply reacting to U.S. policies. Their pronouncements reflect "their own most deeply held religio-political views of the world."

While Habeck draws a sharp distinction between jihadist theology and traditional interpretations of Islam, she notes that jihadist ideas "did not spring from a void, nor are all of them the marginal opinions of a few fanatics." For example, the scholar Ibn Taymiya (d. 1328), who is widely respected in Muslim circles, lived when the Mongols ruled over the Islamic world. Although they claimed to be Muslims, the Mongols' system of laws was based on their native customs rather than Islamic law (sharia).

Disturbed by this situation, Ibn Taymiya argued that the Islamic faith requires state power because the Koran only says that Muslims are the "best community" when they "enjoined the good and forbade the evil." In failing to base their legal system on Islamic law, the Mongols disregarded that Koranic injunction. Thus, Ibn Taymiya said that Muslims were required to take up arms against the Mongols.

Contemporary jihadists liken the modern rulers of the Muslim world to the Mongols. And there are scholars beside Ibn Taymiya to whom they can look for inspiration, including Abdul Wahhab and the three major jihadist thinkers of the twentieth century: Hassan al-Banna, Sayyid Abul A'la Maududi and Sayyid Qutb.

DRAWING UPON AN IMPRESSIVE ARRAY of primary-source material from these and like-minded Islamic radicals, Habeck makes her greatest contribution by illuminating the building blocks of the jihadist worldview.

It begins with the notion that only the Koran and ahadith (the sayings and traditions of Prophet Muhammad) are relevant to ordering the Muslim community. The views of more modern legal scholars, which may have a moderating effect on the faith, are given far less weight. With the Koran and ahadith as their only guides, jihadists believe that it is their duty to discover the "comprehensive ideology" contained in the Islamic faith.

For the jihadists, that comprehensive ideology begins with a concept known as tawhid. An Arabic term denoting the oneness of God, all Muslims have a shared belief in tawhid--but, as with so many theological concepts, the jihadists have a somewhat idiosyncratic interpretation of its implications. Echoing Ibn Taymiya, jihadist thinkers like Maududi and Qutb argue that if only God can be worshipped and obeyed, then only God's laws can have any significance or legitimacy. This provides them with justification not only for violently overturning social systems that aren't based on a "correct" understanding of Islam, but also for declaring fellow Muslims to be non-believers if they accept secular rule in place of the Islamic order that jihadists seek to impose.

The consequences of the view that only sharia law has legitimacy are far-reaching. For one thing, jihadists' unwillingness to accept secular rule places them on an inevitable collision course with the West. The jihadist thinker Fathi Yakan, for example, wrote of the need for jihad in response to "attacks from every materialistic ideology and system that threatens the existence of Islam as
a global paradigm of thought and system of life."
They don't hate us because of the war, though it makes for a good excuse, they hate us because of who we are, they hate us because we are free and they don't want us to remain free. The rheteric they spew about it being the war is for the media's benefit so that we will lose our resolve to fight. We cannot let that happen, we cannot allow history to condemn us for being blind to what Islamic fascists made very clear to us with their protest signs:

Their t-shirts:

And with their actions.

(Photos via Little Green Footballs)